BUI- Boating Under the Influence

In Mississippi, Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a serious criminal offence. Although the acceptable BAC is a little higher than for traditional DUI’s involving motor vehicles, an arrest and potential conviction can still negatively impact your future. From fines to jail time, a boating under the influence conviction is bad news. Since no two cases are the same, the circumstances of your particular arrest will have a significant bearing on the outcome of your case. Be sure to contact your attorney as swiftly after the arrest is possible, so he or she can get started on your defense.

Mississippi State Laws

According to the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks- Law Enforcement Division, the Mississippi Alcohol Boating Safety Act boaters are prohibits boaters from operating their vessels while intoxicated from either alcohol or drugs or a combination of both. Unlike, a DUI charge, a BUI charge can be made when boaters have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10% or higher. Whether you took and failed a sobriety test or refused to take the breathalyzer, your first step after an arrest needs to be contacting an experienced BUI lawyer in Jackson.

What Exactly is “Under the Influence?”

Where boating in Mississippi is concerned, “under the influence” refers to alcohol, drugs or a combination of both. While we generally think of cocaine, marijuana and other types of illicit drugs as being included, we might forget that some legal prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can also get boaters arrested. Certain medications that carry the risk of drowsiness can put you ‘under the influence.’ Officers have a lot of ‘discretion’ too, so speaking with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest needs to be your number one priority.

Was This Your First Offense?

Depending upon the circumstances of your specific case, you could be facing hefty fines and jail time. If this was your first offense and nobody was hurt, you might not be facing too harsh of penalties. Of course, your lawyer’s ultimate goal should be to get you cleared of all charges, whether this was your first or fifth time. A BUI conviction can impact your future ability to get a job, apply for loans and other important life necessities.

Was Somebody Injured?

If somebody was injured in a collision or incident surrounding your BUI arrest, the case could get complicated quickly. Worse still, if somebody was killed while you were accused of boating under the influence, you could be a prison sentence of one year or longer. Additional investigative efforts may be necessary in order to determine the facts of the case. If somebody was injured in a BUI incident you were arrested for, you need to call an attorney as soon as possible. Don’t count on an overburdened public defender to have the time or resources available to dedicate to your freedom.

BUI Defense

Your lawyer will examine the facts surrounding your case to determine the best course of action. Your defense will be your lawyer’s top priority from day one. A good criminal defense lawyer works tirelessly to get their clients cleared of all charges. Getting your charges thrown out will be the number-one game plan. An arrest on your record is bad enough, but a conviction will follow you around for life.

Possible Penalties of BUI
  • Suspension of boating privileges
  • Lengthy Probation
  • Hefty fines
  • Jail time
  • Prison sentence
Repercussions of a BUI Conviction

In addition to jail time, fines, a loss or suspension of boating privileges, probation and a potential prison sentence, a BUI conviction can have a serious negative impact on your life. Any kind of criminal conviction, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, can seriously impact your ability to earn a living, provide for your family and get on with your life. In addition to jail time and fines, you’re likely to lose your job. If you thought it was hard getting a job in this economy before, wait until you have a criminal conviction on your record.

When to Contact a Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with boating under the influence (BUI), you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Don’t volunteer information to interrogators who try to be your friend. Respectfully decline to answer any questions until your lawyer arrives.

Contact the skilled defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 948-1600 for a consultation today.

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